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MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Michael Enright on Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:33 am

I did my x-training yesterday, with a nice 10 mile bike ride in the early am. Nice ride. I checked out the hill that I go up right before the turnaround, and mapmyrun shows portions of that hill with a grade as high as the high teens. No wonder it wears me out!

3 miles on the treadmill this morning, since it was raining. Took it easy and watched a bit of the local news/weather/traffic and then over to Mike & Mike. Ryan Braun, what a pig.

Since I was on the tm and thought about it, I used my 405 with the HRM to compare to the HRM on the treadmill (new Precor base model - 6.23, I think), which consists of those bars you hold with your hands.

What I learned was what I suspected - the things on this model that you hold onto don't do nearly as good a job as the chest strap for the garmin. It took a long time for the correct HR to register on the tm, and when it did, it would fluctuate wildly. The highest HR it would occasionally show appeared to be the correct one.

I didn't buy the tm for that feature - it just came with the base model, so I won't complain, but I thought it was interesting. It worked much better when I tried it during the cool down walk than it did while I was running. So I guess that's a great safety feature!

Sweltering humidity again this morning and the balance of the day, and then we are supposed to get some longer term relief starting overnight. Can't wait.
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Michael Enright on Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:10 am

Well, no relief from the humidity overnight after all! I started out on my 6 miler with close to 100% humidity. At the end, it was 72 degrees, with a dew point of 70! Not too hot, but really swampy.

So I decided to make it hard again by running up the big hills to the east, just like last Wednesday. The run went well, no problems, and now I'm having a sweatfest. Literally dripping everywhere. Hopefully, the relief will come during today and things will dry out around here for a few days for a change. It has been a warm and humid summer, that's f]or sure.

My oldest turned 21 yesterday. Hard to believe. Seems like yesterday I was driving to the hospital for him to be born. Too much cake last night...
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Mark B on Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:55 am

Those hilly 'n' humid runs are going to be great training for you, Michael! You guys have had quite the nasty summer back there.

I don't know if Precor offers this option, but some treadmill manufacturers have an option to purchase and plug in a wireless receiver for a heart rate strap that overrides the clever (but pretty useless) grab bar monitor. There might be some information about it buried deep in the back of your user's manual, if you're interested.

Congrats on getting your oldest to 21! Good job, Dad.
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Michael Enright on Wed Jul 24, 2013 10:39 am

Mark B wrote:Those hilly 'n' humid runs are going to be great training for you, Michael! You guys have had quite the nasty summer back there.

I don't know if Precor offers this option, but some treadmill manufacturers have an option to purchase and plug in a wireless receiver for a heart rate strap that overrides the clever (but pretty useless) grab bar monitor. There might be some information about it buried deep in the back of your user's manual, if you're interested.

Congrats on getting your oldest to 21! Good job, Dad.

Thanks Mark. I do believe a HRM strap is available, I just didn't really want it.

Thanks re my oldest, but all I did was keep feeding him...
Smile
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Michael Enright on Thu Jul 25, 2013 12:25 pm

Ah, the weather changed overnight, and when I awoke at 5:30, it was grey, a bit breezy and about 60 with a super low dewpoint. I was chilly!

I only had 3 miles on the schedule, and I've been wanting to do some hill repeats to try and identify my max HR. I don't do HR training really, but I've fooled around with the HRM enough to want to validate my training - I've gathered from prior results that my max HR is higher than the age-based formulas would yield.

So I headed out in the direction of general flatness and ran a mile and back, so I was back to my driveway at 2.0 after an easy effort. Then, I did three hill repeats in the other direction, which gives me a nice hill of about the right duration. First, I did one that was at my guess at a 90% effort level, and jogged back to the start, then I did one all out, and jogged back, then I did one like I was trying to win a close race (actually visualized the guy I was trying to catch!). By the end of the third one, I was at 3.1 miles total for the morning, and I had to walk it off before I could do anything at all, so I think I did a decent job. I wonder, though, if I'm as lazy as I think I might be - was this really my max effort? I tend to back off if I get uncomfortable!

Max HR for this adventure was 177. And that puts most of my runs where I've used the HRM in the right zones. I do tend to train closer to the top of those zones than to the bottom, I've noticed.

Enough of that for now. I'll go back to marathon training without any speedwork this cycle. I wonder what the neighbors think? "Hey, why is the old man next door sprinting up the hill at 6:00 a.m.?" Maybe they were waiting to see if there was a bobcat behind me (one was spotted not too far away recently).
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Chris M on Thu Jul 25, 2013 1:14 pm

Interesting on the max HR test you did.  I was wondering if doing hill repeats like that was a good way or if there was some other norm used.  Poked around on the web for a bit and found this which validated your method and also suggested something interesting about then using resting HR in a formula with max to find your "70% working HR zone" where you want to be doing your training.  Hmm.

do a max HR test. Find a decent length hill and do 3 to 4 reps up the hill hard with a slow jog back to the bottom. Towards the end of your 3rd or 4th rep you should reach your highest HR and should take this as your max. If on a run at some later point your HR goes higher than this you should use the updated figure for your max. HR.

Also work out your resting HR (best done first thing in the morning or when asleep as you are very relaxed and haven't started moving around then).

Once you have these two figures you can work out your 70% level with the following formula (70% refers to 70% of Working Heart Rate).

Resting HR + (Max. HR - Resting HR*0.7)

For example my 70% level is calculated as follows:

52 + (194-52 * 0.7) = 151.4 (I use 151 as 70% level)

Hope this is of some use Cat and presevere with the <70% training as this is a valuable tool to build any running base upon. I have been doing this for 3 months (having read John L. Parkers book "Heart Rate Training for the Compleat Idiot") and you find that you soon improve and you can start to run faster still keeping your HR under the 70% level.
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Michael Enright on Thu Jul 25, 2013 2:18 pm

Chris M wrote:Interesting on the max HR test you did.  I was wondering if doing hill repeats like that was a good way or if there was some other norm used.  Poked around on the web for a bit and found this which validated your method and also suggested something interesting about then using resting HR in a formula with max to find your "70% working HR zone" where you want to be doing your training.  Hmm.

do a max HR test. Find a decent length hill and do 3 to 4 reps up the hill hard with a slow jog back to the bottom. Towards the end of your 3rd or 4th rep you should reach your highest HR and should take this as your max. If on a run at some later point your HR goes higher than this you should use the updated figure for your max. HR.

Also work out your resting HR (best done first thing in the morning or when asleep as you are very relaxed and haven't started moving around then).

Once you have these two figures you can work out your 70% level with the following formula (70% refers to 70% of Working Heart Rate).

Resting HR + (Max. HR - Resting HR*0.7)

For example my 70% level is calculated as follows:

52 + (194-52 * 0.7) = 151.4 (I use 151 as 70% level)

Hope this is of some use Cat and presevere with the <70% training as this is a valuable tool to build any running base upon. I have been doing this for 3 months (having read John L. Parkers book "Heart Rate Training for the Compleat Idiot") and you find that you soon improve and you can start to run faster still keeping your HR under the 70% level.

Thanks, Chris.

Although I didn't see that particular internet post, I saw a bunch of other google results like it, which is why I settled on that method, and that calculation. Some calculations just do a % of max heart rate, but others use this calculation based on heart rate reserve. I used the heart rate reserve method.

I didn't check my resting heart rate while still in bed in the morning, like I often see suggested. I had a good idea what it was anyway, and then just strapped the monitor on after I'd put my running duds on and sat on the couch and watched it drop. That was kind of fun. Finally, I just completely chilled out and got it down to 50, which is what I was using anyway as my best guess. It was like some kind of biofeedback experiment.

MVW once posted that a way to check max HR was to run a 5K race all out and use the final sprint as the measure. I haven't tried that way. Others suggest track repeats. I might try that sometime in the next couple of weeks and compare results.
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Mark B on Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:01 pm

Sounds like a fun, tough, workout with some science thrown in, Michael! Nice job getting a sense of your HR max. (And nice resting HR, too!)

I've found that knowing my max (which is ridiculously higher than it should be for someone my age) hasn't had much of an impact on my aerobic-oriented (and Maffetone inspired) training approach. But I could see the benefit especially when you're trying to get the most out of VOMax sessions.

If you haven't seen it, the Maffetone approach tosses out HR max altogether and calculates based on 180-age, with a few additional modifications that raise or lower that target HR based on health and fitness. (If you're interested, here's a link to Maffetone's explanation. It's a bit involved.)

Either way, focusing on HR is a great way to improve while reducing chances of injury and burnout. Good luck!
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Michael Enright on Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:22 pm

Mark B wrote:Sounds like a fun, tough, workout with some science thrown in, Michael! Nice job getting a sense of your HR max. (And nice resting HR, too!)

I've found that knowing my max (which is ridiculously higher than it should be for someone my age) hasn't had much of an impact on my aerobic-oriented (and Maffetone inspired) training approach. But I could see the benefit especially when you're trying to get the most out of VOMax sessions.

If you haven't seen it, the Maffetone approach tosses out HR max altogether and calculates based on 180-age, with a few additional modifications that raise or lower that target HR based on health and fitness. (If you're interested, here's a link to Maffetone's explanation. It's a bit involved.)

Either way, focusing on HR is a great way to improve while reducing chances of injury and burnout. Good luck!

Thanks Mark. I've got a vague sense of Maffetone just from following your blog from time to time, but I'm curious enough that I'll read on.

I'm not expecting to become a HR devotee, but it is an interesting set of data points, and I do love data.
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Nick Morris on Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:21 pm

Catching up on your training.  It looks like things are going well, so far.  That's good to see Smile  I remember trying to figure out my max HR.  I did a combination of calculations, plus 1/4 mile hill repeats at all out effort.  They are tough workouts, but they should give you a sense of your max.
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Chris M on Thu Jul 25, 2013 9:29 pm

I ended up not being able to easily implement  Mark's explanation of Maffeltone and his test (which I did and do find fascinating) because the test as applied to me even with some adjustments they do for fitness etc. had me running somewhere between HMP and MP for the MAF test which can't be right.  I mean I feel like I'm working HARD but the numbers off the straight age formula say that's where I should be.  A 5 mile MAF test would be like very hard tempo every time.
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Mark B on Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:41 pm

Chris M wrote:I ended up not being able to easily implement  Mark's explanation of Maffeltone and his test (which I did and do find fascinating) because the test as applied to me even with some adjustments they do for fitness etc. had me running somewhere between HMP and MP for the MAF test which can't be right.  I mean I feel like I'm working HARD but the numbers off the straight age formula say that's where I should be.  A 5 mile MAF test would be like very hard tempo every time.

Maffetone said that actually can happen in some cases. When that happens, do a MAF test only for a mile, maybe two, and wind it down. The most important MAF time is the one in that first post-warmup mile. You can treat MAF-level runs as aerobic interval training, and you'll still benefit from it. You must have a pretty low HR max, yes, Chris?
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Chris M on Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:03 am

Mark B wrote:
Chris M wrote:I ended up not being able to easily implement  Mark's explanation of Maffeltone and his test (which I did and do find fascinating) because the test as applied to me even with some adjustments they do for fitness etc. had me running somewhere between HMP and MP for the MAF test which can't be right.  I mean I feel like I'm working HARD but the numbers off the straight age formula say that's where I should be.  A 5 mile MAF test would be like very hard tempo every time.

Maffetone said that actually can happen in some cases. When that happens, do a MAF test only for a mile, maybe two, and wind it down. The most important MAF time is the one in that first post-warmup mile. You can treat MAF-level runs as aerobic interval training, and you'll still benefit from it. You must have a pretty low HR max, yes, Chris?

 Yes, unusually low max for me.  Low resting as well.
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Chris M on Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:46 pm

Michael Enright wrote:

My daughter started her summer job at Dunkin yesterday, and reported that the folks behind the counter would eat whatever they wanted for free at this location (I think that is in fact contrary to official policy, however). If I had that job, I'd weigh 400 lbs and be completely jacked up on caffeine all day.

 I read this in your blog weeks ago and immediately thought of maybe my favorite (so many to choose from) Far Side cartoons.  I'd be like you if I worked in a donut shop!


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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Michael Enright on Sat Jul 27, 2013 3:10 pm

I miss those Far Sides, to this day. That one is perfect!

So, anyway, continuing my fooling around with the HRM, I had 6 on the calendar for today, and it wasn't scheduled as a pace run. Pretty nice morning. At the end of my run, it was 78 and the dew point was 65, so humid but not too bad, especially compared to some recent days.

I decided to set up the watch so I could easily switch between a screen with just my HR on it, and my regular display. Mostly, I just left it set to the HR. I headed off downhill, and just wanted to keep it in the lower end of the range I'd target if I was doing a long run. I figured this would be a good test, and good practice. It was easy, going downhill, to keep it in the 130s, for pretty much the whole "out" leg, though I did tick up to about 140 as I approached 3 miles. Coming back, I figured I'd go up some or slow way down, because it's uphill, and it worked out that way. I managed it by keeping it right in the very low 140s.

The run felt great and real easy. The pace on the out leg was in the 9:30-9:45 range, and the pace on the way back was in the 10:00-10:30 range. I ended up averaging right at 10:00, because the 6 mile run was an hour exactly. Funny how that worked out. And that seems about right, because my target pace for this marathon is 9:00, so about a minute over on a long run makes sense. My average HR was 138. Based on my calculations, I would want to keep my HR at under 150 for a long run. So, I've got some wiggle room there. I tend to run my long runs in the last few years at between 9;15 and 10:00, and sometimes edge up over 10:00, so that all makes sense.

I have 12 miles tomorrow, and I'll try to keep the pace reasonable. Maybe real reasonable - it's supposed to get hot and humid, I think, and I won't get started until near 10:00, I imagine. Then I have a stepback week, and it isn't until the week after that that I finally get up to 14 miles, which will finally get back into "real" long run territory. I'm actually looking forward to that.

After the run, I went home and did a bunch of yard work. That tired me out more than the run. Got me a lot dirtier, too!
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Nick Morris on Sat Jul 27, 2013 3:16 pm

Chris M wrote:
Mark B wrote:
Chris M wrote:I ended up not being able to easily implement  Mark's explanation of Maffeltone and his test (which I did and do find fascinating) because the test as applied to me even with some adjustments they do for fitness etc. had me running somewhere between HMP and MP for the MAF test which can't be right.  I mean I feel like I'm working HARD but the numbers off the straight age formula say that's where I should be.  A 5 mile MAF test would be like very hard tempo every time.

Maffetone said that actually can happen in some cases. When that happens, do a MAF test only for a mile, maybe two, and wind it down. The most important MAF time is the one in that first post-warmup mile. You can treat MAF-level runs as aerobic interval training, and you'll still benefit from it. You must have a pretty low HR max, yes, Chris?

 Yes, unusually low max for me.  Low resting as well.

The same for me Chris.  My max and my resting heart rate are both pretty low.
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Nick Morris on Sat Jul 27, 2013 3:18 pm

Good work on the run today.  If you got your heart rate calculations right, I say that you could even run a little harder during those runs.  Good tomorrow with your 12-er.  Slowly but surely, things are starting to come along Smile
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Michael Enright on Sat Jul 27, 2013 4:14 pm

Nick Morris wrote:Good work on the run today.  If you got your heart rate calculations right, I say that you could even run a little harder during those runs.  Good tomorrow with your 12-er.  Slowly but surely, things are starting to come along Smile

No doubt about it, Nick! The real question is how fast I should run them. I had a long history of running them too fast.
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Sat Jul 27, 2013 7:27 pm

Interesting on the HR calculations.  I participated in a test at GA Tech some yrs ago (11 or 12?) where I had my max HR measured and it is higher than it ought to be for someone my age as well.  The Maffetone calculation would have me walking all of my runs, so it is definitely something I've wondered about.
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Mark B on Sat Jul 27, 2013 7:59 pm

Maffetone's isn't the only approach to low heart rate training. Hadd's approach to distance training (read all about it here) is a strategy I've played around with, and it might work better for you folks who don't have higher max heart rates.

The page I linked is a .pdf of a 25-page tome that goes into excruciating detail about Hadd's approach, but at the simplest, he suggests setting an aerobic heart rate level by subtracting at least 50 bpm from your HRMax. My HRMax was about 193 when I tested it a few years ago, which put my Hadd-HR at 143, about 5 bpm higher than my Maffetone level of 138. I experimented with both levels and improved with each, but I burned out at 143. Your results will vary.

To do the math for you, with your measured max of 177, that'd be a Hadd-HR of no higher than 127 for your aerobic runs.
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Nick Morris on Sat Jul 27, 2013 8:12 pm

Michael Enright wrote:
Nick Morris wrote:Good work on the run today.  If you got your heart rate calculations right, I say that you could even run a little harder during those runs.  Good tomorrow with your 12-er.  Slowly but surely, things are starting to come along Smile

No doubt about it, Nick! The real question is how fast I should run them. I had a long history of running them too fast.

I think that you can go 45 second per mile slower than your goal pace with your LSDs.  I wouldn't go much faster than that.  If you weren't coming off an injury, I would say that if you feel like you could go faster than 45 seconds of goal per mile, then you should rethink your goal pace.
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Michael Enright on Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:45 pm

Late yesterday afternoon, hours after my six miler and well after all my yard work was done, my daughter asked me if I wanted to go for a bike ride. My philosophy is that when one of my teen age kids wants me to do something with them, I'll say "yes," so despite being pretty tuckered out, we headed out for an easy 11 miles. Nice ride.

This morning I couldn't get out until 11:00 for my run. I had 12 miles on the schedule. After the back-and-forth yesterday about HR and pace, I decided to run this one without looking at the monitor, and to just go by feel, keeping it at about what I'd normally do for this type and length of run in these conditions. It was 76 at the start and 81 at the finish, with a dew point of 65, so warm but not bad. I had water with me the whole way and had no hydration issues.

By the way, I think it must be Gnational Gnat Day, given the number of the little buggers I encountered. I must have spent 60% of the time in the second half of the run swatting them out of my face.

I headed off in the uphill direction (see splits, elevation chart and HR data below - note that the elevation information is a bit wacky on the trail - the general trend line is correct, but it doesn't take all those dips and dives - this was a RR, not a rollercoaster) for the first three, turned and came downhill the same 3 miles to the car, switched out my water and headed out in the other direction, which isn't as dramatic in terms of hills, but still has its ups and downs. I felt really good the whole way. I am glad I've been coming back very gradually - I think it showed today. The last couple of miles, I picked it up a notch.

For the most part, I kept the HR under 150. I got up and over 150 at the 8 mile mark, and pretty much held it there in the low to mid-150s until around the 10 mile mark, when I picked up the pace to finish, and got it up to just over 160. Still, I felt good at the end.

I think this would be a pretty typical HR trend for my long runs over the course of the last couple of years, when healthy.

I have a cutback week this week, followed by the week that culminates in a 14 miler. I should probably run that one slower than the one I ran today, but I don't think I need to run it that much slower. We'll see what conditions are like then and how I feel.

Week 5 is in the books, with 30 miles of running and 21 of cycling. A pretty good week for me.


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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:33 pm

Mark B wrote:Maffetone's isn't the only approach to low heart rate training. Hadd's approach to distance training (read all about it here) is a strategy I've played around with, and it might work better for you folks who don't have higher max heart rates.

The page I linked is a .pdf of a 25-page tome that goes into excruciating detail about Hadd's approach, but at the simplest, he suggests setting an aerobic heart rate level by subtracting at least 50 bpm from your HRMax. My HRMax was about 193 when I tested it a few years ago, which put my Hadd-HR at 143, about 5 bpm higher than my Maffetone level of 138. I experimented with both levels and improved with each, but I burned out at 143. Your results will vary.

To do the math for you, with your measured max of 177, that'd be a Hadd-HR of no higher than 127 for your aerobic runs.

Sorry to hijack this thread, but it is interesting.  My max HR was measured at 197; however, a Maffetone rate would be 129.  I usually run my normal runs around 140, marathons around 160, half marathons around 170-175, and shorter stuff in higher ranges at the end.  Maybe I am training too fast?  I have been running slower this summer (around 125-130) with slower friends and I did run well in Erie (too bad my HRM crapped out).  Hmmmmm
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Nick Morris on Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:54 pm

Good run today, Michael!!  It looks like you can pick up your LSD pace a little bit, as suspected.  It was a little warm, too.  So your heart was probably working a little harder, as well.  Enjoy the step back week.
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

Post  Mark B on Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:17 pm

Michele \"1L" Keane wrote:
Mark B wrote:Maffetone's isn't the only approach to low heart rate training. Hadd's approach to distance training (read all about it here) is a strategy I've played around with, and it might work better for you folks who don't have higher max heart rates.

The page I linked is a .pdf of a 25-page tome that goes into excruciating detail about Hadd's approach, but at the simplest, he suggests setting an aerobic heart rate level by subtracting at least 50 bpm from your HRMax. My HRMax was about 193 when I tested it a few years ago, which put my Hadd-HR at 143, about 5 bpm higher than my Maffetone level of 138. I experimented with both levels and improved with each, but I burned out at 143. Your results will vary.

To do the math for you, with your measured max of 177, that'd be a Hadd-HR of no higher than 127 for your aerobic runs.

Sorry to hijack this thread, but it is interesting.  My max HR was measured at 197; however, a Maffetone rate would be 129.  I usually run my normal runs around 140, marathons around 160, half marathons around 170-175, and shorter stuff in higher ranges at the end.  Maybe I am training too fast?  I have been running slower this summer (around 125-130) with slower friends and I did run well in Erie (too bad my HRM crapped out).  Hmmmmm

Maffetone would probably say you're training too fast, and are probably more susceptible to injury as a result.

Hadd would probably say that you're training too fast and therefore not getting the maximum aerobic development possible.

Both of their approaches would have you target the heart rate and slow down over the miles to keep the HR consistent. HR drift is an anathema to their approach. The idea is, over time, you slow down less and less, until you can keep going at that same HR for a very long time. (Then, you can layer in more intense workouts, but that's another part of the picture.)
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Re: MCM or Bust (seriously, dude, it may bust!)

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